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Nose, Palate or Finish

Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

Nose, Palate or Finish

Nose
9
23%
Palate
14
35%
Finish
14
35%
Other
3
8%
 
Total votes : 40

Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:52 am

When tasting a whisky what part of it is most important to you?

Jeff and I have had numerous discussions around this when talking about Laphroaig 30 and Lagavulin 21. I really like the nose on the Laph 30 (might be the best smelling whisky that I have had) but the palate is slightly weak and the finish is short, so I don't rate it as high as the Laga 21 which has a wonderful finish.

I would rank them as

1. Finish (most important)
2. Palate
3. Nose

Thank you for taking the time to answer this.

Sean
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby jhershauer » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:24 am

I'm a nose man, for sure. Finish would be second, and palate last.

Although...how likely is it to have a nice finish if the palate is weak? It seems like those two often go hand-in-hand.

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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby wolpertinger » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:06 am

It takes me roughly an hour to finish a quality dram. From that I have my nose at least half of the time in the glas. Palate and finish only add up to several minutes. Therefore I voted for nose.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby borgom » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:29 pm

Finish is most important to me followed by nose then palate. A great nose is wonderful but ultimately disappointing if the palate and finish is poor. A whisky with only a great finish is more satisfying to me and can fit into a whisky session or a no nonsense weekday dram despite an average nose.
That said, I have an expectation of all round quality from any whisky so I wouldn't repurchase one that was poor in any area.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Wave » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:41 pm

To me the taste or palate along with it's finish is the key. The nose can be deceiving. Case in point: I remember a wine I tasted a few years ago where the grapes had been grown in volcanic soil (California), it's nose was extremely sulphury, but the taste very good without a trace of it's odor, in other words once you got past the smell you had it licked! :mrgreen:


Cheers!
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby SoMK » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:03 pm

I'm quite attracted to the nose of a whisky.. Some of them, I could spend hours just nosing them, like a few A'bunadh batches, Glenfarclas or the Balvenie 10 founders for instance. Beautiful perfumes really... but the whiskies that impressed me the most are the ones with deep long finishes so.. finish for me !
I really dislike whiskies ending shortly. I really loved the corryvreckan for instance and the finish is way more impressive than the nose/palate.
and no, Drumguish doesn't qualify for the long finish.. I meant GOOD long finish :P
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Sherried Malt » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:53 pm

I think I'm in the minority on this but I rarely value a whisky on the basis of its nose. I look to its palate first, followed closely by its finish. The nose is a distant third, although I do like the way it fills the room with its fragrance over time...

I guess I'm much more focused on the drinking aspect of whisky... :D
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby ClubSmed » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:58 pm

I would have said nose as that is where I spend most of my time when enjoying a whisky. However if the nose is good but the taste is bad then I will not buy the bottle where as if it is the other way around I might.
So for me it would be

Palate
Nose
Finish
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby kyorke1 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:32 pm

For me its very difficult to choose between the palate and finish. Thinking about it long enough though, a bad nose can spoil the enjoyment of the whisky too. I guess that's the great thing about whisky; there is so much to appreciate. In the end I chose the palate as in my experience I have tasted more great palates than finishes but those with an amazing finish I would drink solely for it.

Good poll Sean.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:21 am

At this moment in time, I appear to be the only individual to have voted 'other'. Please let me elaborate on why I have done so...

Superficially, I would have easily opted for either 'palate' or 'finish', as the taste and length on the palate of any whisky are what normally make me return for a second (or third, etc.) dram of a quality drink. However, having carried out some minor degree of research into the parameters of the human senses (and perception) of smell and taste (albeit as regards cigars, yet still applicable to spirits), I know only too well that smell far outweighs taste in terms of one's ability to discern a wide variety of qualitative elements.

I'm therefore left in something of a conundrum. :wink:
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby dramtastic » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:04 am

Interesting question Sean.

If I'm writing notes I get the most out of the nose, so in that instance nose.

For the pleasure of drinking I love a whisky that explodes on the palate with a nice long multi layered finish. So in that case, palate, then finish, then nose.

In truth I am most impressed by a whisky that for me has a great balance of all three. So in this instance I guess I'd say other.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Ardbeg311 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:19 am

I think I would give the nod to finish. A short or weak finish can ruin the taste experience, while a brilliant finish can save a whisky that could be stronger on the palate. Taste is more important than nose for me as I have never bought a whisky because I enjoyed the nose so much even though the palate/finish wasn't very good. A wonderful nose does enhance the experience, but here it need only not be awful.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby ClubSmed » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:45 am

I think that there are 2 factors at play here (at least for me).
There is the part of the whisky you enjoy the most (for me the nose) and then there is the part of the whisky you can not live without.
I could not live without is the palate. If I was given a whisky with a bad nose and finish but a good palate I could still happily drink it, but make it a bad palate but good either nose or finish and I am not sure I would have a second.

Although I suppose I could be in the minority and most people could have the same answer for what they enjoy most and what they can not live without in whisky
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby lockejn » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:32 pm

Ardbeg311 wrote:I think I would give the nod to finish. A short or weak finish can ruin the taste experience, while a brilliant finish can save a whisky that could be stronger on the palate. Taste is more important than nose for me as I have never bought a whisky because I enjoyed the nose so much even though the palate/finish wasn't very good. A wonderful nose does enhance the experience, but here it need only not be awful.

My sentiments exactly.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby scotchdrinker » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:17 pm

ClubSmed

I would have to agree with you completely. I am all for the palate first. Same order:

Palate
Finish
Nose

Hey I know it isn't just me even if I am in the minority. As they say enjoy the whisky how you want :D
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Minnesota Malt » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:11 pm

Palate
Nose
Finish
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby johan brugge » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:32 am

Same here.
Palate
Nose
Finish
Although it's bloody hard to choose!
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Liechtenstein » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:08 am

1. Finish
2. Palate
3. Nose

The Finish is evidence of work well done. The Palate speaks of the quality and processing of the ingredients.
The nose is...well, some whiskies - like people - are not good at first impressions but they can end up being good friends.

:empty:
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:29 am

Liechtenstein wrote:1. Finish
2. Palate
3. Nose

The Finish is evidence of work well done. The Palate speaks of the quality and processing of the ingredients.
The nose is...well, some whiskies - like people - are not good at first impressions but they can end up being good friends.

:empty:
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Swedish Chef » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:32 am

Liechtenstein wrote:1. Finish
2. Palate
3. Nose

The Finish is evidence of work well done. The Palate speaks of the quality and processing of the ingredients.
The nose is...well, some whiskies - like people - are not good at first impressions but they can end up being good friends.

:empty:

I agree with you, Liechtenstein.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:35 am

Liechtenstein wrote:1. Finish
2. Palate
3. Nose

The Finish is evidence of work well done. The Palate speaks of the quality and processing of the ingredients.
The nose is...well, some whiskies - like people - are not good at first impressions but they can end up being good friends.

:empty:


Nicely put.

I have a hard time prioritising palate and finish, though palate might win by a nose!

Nose would definitely be third on my list.That said, a good nose comes into its own...I spent 20 minutes breathing through my glass when it contained my one and only sample of lagavulin 21. The palate matched the nose perfectly, and the finish lasted a week. Like the Laga 16 times ten!

A brilliant, outstanding whisky experience - one in which all three aspects were equally impressive. But that is rare.

Anyway, I voted "other" as you probably guessed...
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Ganga » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:50 pm

Instant gut reaction is palate. But really the whiskies I enjoy most provide a wonderful bouquet, intense palate and a lingering finish.

No one seems to have mentioned it but more and more I find myself enjoying the visual aspects of my whisky.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby bcrossan » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:54 pm

Ganga wrote:Instant gut reaction is palate. But really the whiskies I enjoy most provide a wonderful bouquet, intense palate and a lingering finish.

No one seems to have mentioned it but more and more I find myself enjoying the visual aspects of my whisky.


I agree that is an interesting part. I remember pouring a Laga DE for the first time and was amazed at the color on it
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby scotchdrinker » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:17 pm

bcrossan wrote:
Ganga wrote:Instant gut reaction is palate. But really the whiskies I enjoy most provide a wonderful bouquet, intense palate and a lingering finish.

No one seems to have mentioned it but more and more I find myself enjoying the visual aspects of my whisky.


I agree that is an interesting part. I remember pouring a Laga DE for the first time and was amazed at the color on it


You are both right, I always seem to forget that. i open a canister and the first thing I look at is the color. One of my favorite colors is the Balvenie 12yo double wood.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby lockejn » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:45 pm

My problems with the color are how easily it can be tampered with and how little it tells you about what's in the bottle (especially if it's been tampered with).

I am fond of saying, though, "whisky is for drinking, not looking at. But it spends a lot more time on my shelf than in my glass".
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby wolpertinger » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:33 pm

so palate is in the lead. :shock:

Maybe you should know that there are no taste buds at all in the palate.
Zero, nada, nought! :P

In the tongue you can only distinguish bitter, sour, sweet and salty - nothing else. :thumbsup:

Everyting else comes from the nose. Close your nostrils with your fingers and you can't tell the difference between a Glendronach 15yo Sherry Bomb and an Ardbeg Supernova. :o

Swallow - wait a few seconds then release your fingers and you'll experience the finish - but again, without the olfactory sense there is no finish! :headbang:
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby ClubSmed » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:53 pm

wolpertinger wrote:Close your nostrils with your fingers and you can't tell the difference between a Glendronach 15yo Sherry Bomb and an Ardbeg Supernova. :o

Swallow - wait a few seconds then release your fingers and you'll experience the finish - but again, without the olfactory sense there is no finish! :headbang:


By that token it is a pointless question for a poll?
The olfactory sense maybe the reason for all three but as all three are experienced differently it makes sense to call them by different names and be able to chose the most important to you
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:18 am

Time for a bit of clarification, I do believe. Let me quote myself from a prior article published on the Cigar Weekly website entitiled What Do Your Taste Buds Taste? ...

"As a substance enters the mouth, it penetrates papillae located on the upper surface of the tongue, stimulating the taste buds. The substance has be liquified.

The human sense of taste recognizes four characteristics - sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. Alkaline and metallic are sometimes also included. Each taste bud is tuned to react to one of these.

Category-specific taste buds occupy different regions of the tongue. Sweetness and saltiness are predominantly sensed on the tip and front portion, sourness mostly along the edges and bitterness at the rear.

Substances exhibiting multiple characteristics are screened in stages. For example, bittersweet substances are tasted as first sweet and then bitter.

Sight, touch and smell are also important to flavor perception. Visual stimulation often induces subjective taste reactions. And touch involves oral recognition of texture. Foremost is the sense of smell, as olfactory nerve fibers exert tremendous influence upon taste perception. Humans can detect over thirty primary aromas."

Now superficially at least, it would appear that one's sense of smell far outstrips one's sense of taste. This view, however, does not take into account either the phenomenon of recondensation (as a small portion of the vapours from a spirit discerned by one's olfactory epithelium subsequently transmutate back to liquid form and are once again able to be perceived by one's taste buds) or the synergistic manner in which one's brain stores and interprets all of the above-mentioned sequentially conveyed information. Add to these factors the influence of previously ingested substances (such as food or that last sip), and a quite complicated scenario begins to unfold.

I remain undecided. :mrgreen:

And I'm very glad to see I'm no longer alone in having voted 'other'.
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby jhershauer » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:37 am

For the record, while I voted Nose, that doesn't mean that I don't care about the other two. If it's over-the-top bitter on the palate, the nose isn't going to make that Ok.

These posts about the 4 characteristics we can pick up on the palate are interesting. I think that's why I put palate last. While the sweet, sour, bitter, and salty characteristics are important to the enjoyment, it's when the nose gets involved (either on the front end or the back [finish]) that a whisky goes from a simple good/bad to somewhere along a much more dynamic scale.

Jeff
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby dramtastic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:47 am

During the course of my note taking at the Benriach tasting last night(nose palate finish) the guy beside said to me he didn't know much about that stuff he just knew what he liked. Guess that puts him in the other camp and good for him. :thumbsup:
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby bbrownri » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:22 pm

I had to think about this one for a while, but I think the most important thing to me is the finish. I like a good nose, but day-to-day I don't really think about it that much. The palate is important, of course, but a great, lingering finish is around for so much longer than the short-lived palate that I have to give the nod to the finish. Also, a bad finish can just ruin an otherwise good dram. Who wants a crappy aftertaste on the back of their tongue for hours?
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Wub » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:47 pm

Well, I recently posted a topic called "The Finish is Best" so it's obvious that I would vote finish (thus breaking a tie with palate). My sense of smell is not that great (still planning on giving up smoking); the palate to me is often obscured by the effect of the liquid in my mouth (temperature, alcohol tingling etc.). But with with the finish (IMO) you get the best of both worlds: your taste buds are still coated with the flavour, and the fumes drift up your nasal pasage. Mmmm...

Oh, and I think the act of swallowing pushes the liquid up against the soft palate and coats it more thoroughly than swishing can do (and it possibly reaches taste buds that hadn't been reached before). But this is all from introspection, not scientific knowledge.

So, from a purely subjective, sensual point of view, and while I enjoy the nose and palate in a more analytical way, the swallow (which perhaps should be a new section in tasting notes...but maybe it's taboo to talk about such a base, sensual experience) and the finish are what can make my legs buckle.

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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:34 am

dramtastic wrote:During the course of my note taking at the Benriach tasting last night(nose palate finish) the guy beside said to me he didn't know much about that stuff he just knew what he liked. Guess that puts him in the other camp and good for him. :thumbsup:


Yes!± good for him indeed...

his name wasn't "Johnny guitar" by any chance??
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:36 am

bbrownri wrote:I had to think about this one for a while, but I think the most important thing to me is the finish. I like a good nose, but day-to-day I don't really think about it that much. The palate is important, of course, but a great, lingering finish is around for so much longer than the short-lived palate that I have to give the nod to the finish. Also, a bad finish can just ruin an otherwise good dram. Who wants a crappy aftertaste on the back of their tongue for hours?


A very good point.

But I would not countenance such heresy - I would sooner have another dram(or three) than entertain "...a crappy aftertaste...for hours!"

Sheesh! Don't be a masochist!
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Re: Nose, Palate or Finish

Postby bbrownri » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:55 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:But I would not countenance such heresy - I would sooner have another dram(or three) than entertain "...a crappy aftertaste...for hours!"


Good point!
:thumbsup:

I'm with you: if a bad whisky somehow gets past my lips, I'll gladly follow it up with the good stuff.
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